Nature’s Infrastructure and its
implications for the management of
our Wilderness catchments

Christo Fabricius

with Abig...
Social-Ecological Systems
Actions
Interventions

Social-system

Feedbacks

Ecosystem
Services

Ecosystem
Nature’s Infrastructure
• The physical structures in the
landscape that support ecosystem
services:
– Riparian and wetland...
People and Ecological Infrastructure
• Nature’s infrastructure has a positive impact
on human resilience by :
– Protecting...
Sedgefield 2006
Glentana 2006
Heidelberg 2007

(Photo: EDM)
Don’t we learn?

Sedgefield 2013

Wilderness 2013
If we do not clear invasive alien plants …
YIELD per Hectare

“Threshold”

COSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ALIEN PLANT MANAGEMENT)
Degradation of Ecological Infrastructure
• Development decisions use mostly social and
financial considerations
• Response...
River Catchments
Socio-economic

Erosion

Farming, Forestry,
Urban
Voting

Clearing of Palmiet
Floods,
Drought

Monitoring...
Eden Coastline
Socio-economic

Property Owners
Property Developers
Coastal erosion

Voting

Coastal stabilization

Sea sur...
Where to from here?
•
•
•
•
•
•

Navigating a new, sustainable future for the catchment
Developing a shared vision with st...
Christo Fabricius: Ecological Infrastructure and its implications for catchment management
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Christo Fabricius: Ecological Infrastructure and its implications for catchment management

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Ecological infrastructure: landscape features that support ecosystem services. Their functions: Buffering the system against disturbances, e.g. riparian and wetland vegetation;
soils; floodplains; coastal dunes. Nature’s infrastructure has a positive impact on human resilience by :
Protecting human lives
Protecting engineered infrastructure
Enabling multiple land uses
When EI is degraded, land use options reduced, resulting lock-ins into single land use options
Navigating a new, sustainable future for the catchment
Developing a shared vision with stakeholders
Supported by good science
Developing and implementing a local management plan
Collaborative governance through a Catchment Forum
Adaptive co-management: learning, experimentation, reflection, adaptation

“Getting our act together for sustainable catchment management for resilient ecological infrastructure”

Published in: Education, Technology
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Christo Fabricius: Ecological Infrastructure and its implications for catchment management

  1. 1. Nature’s Infrastructure and its implications for the management of our Wilderness catchments Christo Fabricius with Abigail Crisp, Onno Huyser, David Le Maitre, Samantha Mc Culloch, Jeanne Nel, Patrick O’Farrell, Chantel Petersen, Dirk Roux, Klaudia Schachtscheider and Lindie Smith-Adao
  2. 2. Social-Ecological Systems Actions Interventions Social-system Feedbacks Ecosystem Services Ecosystem
  3. 3. Nature’s Infrastructure • The physical structures in the landscape that support ecosystem services: – Riparian and wetland vegetation – Soils – Floodplains • Functions: – Buffering the system against disturbances – Regulating sediments and nutrients
  4. 4. People and Ecological Infrastructure • Nature’s infrastructure has a positive impact on human resilience by : – Protecting human lives – Protecting engineered infrastructure – Enabling multiple land uses • When EI is degraded, land use options reduced, resulting lock-ins into single land use options
  5. 5. Sedgefield 2006
  6. 6. Glentana 2006
  7. 7. Heidelberg 2007 (Photo: EDM)
  8. 8. Don’t we learn? Sedgefield 2013 Wilderness 2013
  9. 9. If we do not clear invasive alien plants …
  10. 10. YIELD per Hectare “Threshold” COSTS (Chemicals; fuel; labour; ALIEN PLANT MANAGEMENT)
  11. 11. Degradation of Ecological Infrastructure • Development decisions use mostly social and financial considerations • Responses may result in short term ‘maladaptations’ • Unintended consequences
  12. 12. River Catchments Socio-economic Erosion Farming, Forestry, Urban Voting Clearing of Palmiet Floods, Drought Monitoring Local, Regional, Provincial, National International Water Hard engineering solutions NEMA, Roads, Impoundments, best practice Lack of capacity Climate change
  13. 13. Eden Coastline Socio-economic Property Owners Property Developers Coastal erosion Voting Coastal stabilization Sea surges Monitoring Local, Regional, Provincial, National International Foredunes Hard engineering solutions NEMA, ICMP, SPLUMA best practice Lack of capacity Climate change
  14. 14. Where to from here? • • • • • • Navigating a new, sustainable future for the catchment Developing a shared vision with stakeholders Supported by good science Developing and implementing a local management plan Collaborative governance through a Catchment Forum Adaptive co-management: learning, experimentation, reflection, adaptation “Getting our act together for sustainable catchment management for resilient ecological infrastructure”

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